Mrs. Carnegie sells Carnegie Hall to real estate developer Robert E. Simon.

Simon promised the “continued operation of the auditorium of Carnegie Hall for five years, unless another hall, capable of taking its place, is sooner constructed,” and went to great lengths to reassure both tenants and music patrons that he had no intention of tearing it down—so long as it continued to pay for itself. To this end, he redecorated the halls and corridors, modernized the physical plant, and installed an art gallery (in the space now occupied by Citi Cafe) to display works by the Hall’s studio tenants. He also carved out several street-level storefronts, a utilitarian move that would later make preservationists cringe.

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